One of the first questions that a child asks his friends after the holidays is, "What did you get?" This year's economy has forced parents to cut back, but experts believe it is a good time to teach children about some of life's important lessons.
Child therapists agree that it is more important to be together during the holidays than to simply buy gifts because the love children feel from the attention you give them will last longer than a gift. And when we teach our children the value of giving to others, it gives the holidays new meaning.
In the new year of 2009, many parents are also going to have to make some difficult decisions about the cost of childcare because they simply cannot afford it anymore. In order to qualify for childcare assistance through the Department of Social Services, a person must be working.
Over 10 million Americans are out of work and another 6.7 million Americans are working part-time. More than 7 million Americans are working part-time. As parents lose employment, as their hours are cutback, they are taking their children out of organized child care and making due with whatever affordable situation they can find. One problem: many families with no resources for childcare are turning to young family members to care of their younger siblings.
Parents rely on childcare when they are at work, but it is also a great social outlet for children who look forward to it every day. More families are being forced to drop out of childcare, due to the economy. This trend signals difficult times for families.
The National Association of Child Care Resource & Parent Referral Agencies says day care costs nationwide can run from ,380 to ,787 a year for just one preschool-age child.
Some other interesting statistics on the current economy and its impact on children include:
Apx.11 million children under age 5 spend a portion of their day, every week, in the care of someone other than Mom.
-A child of a working mom spends about 36 hours a week in childcare.
With the current economic crisis, quality child care is even more important to the healthy development of each child. For many low income families, child care is the only place that children receive a nutritious meal and snack, given that food is often one of the first places parents sacrifice.
Parents must unders that when it comes to childcare, each state has a star rating system. The more stars required, the higher educated childcare employees must be in order to meet the standards.
One way to cut costs without sacrificing is to seek lower cost, in-home childcare. And remember that once a child hits school age the working parent would regain that income.
In the meantime, maybe the growing economic stress will demand that businesses find ways to be more family friendly and find ways to work parents who have young children.